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COVID lockdown effects trigger depression, mental illness – Neuropsychiatrist

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COVID lockdown effects trigger depression, mental illness – Neuropsychiatrist

By Stanley Nwanosike

Professor Monday Igwe, medical director of Enugu Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, said the siege-at-home directive and the effects of COVID-19 were major triggers for depression leading to mental illness in the southeast. and across the country.

Igwe told Enugu when talking about the growing number of mental illness cases registered in most mental hospitals around the world, including Nigeria.

The medical director spoke on the sidelines of the commemoration of World Mental Health Day 2021 under the theme: “Mental health in an unequal world”.

He said other triggers included: high unemployment, inflation, terrorism, banditry, community conflicts and kidnappings, which resulted in dramatic changes in people’s daily lives and activities.

According to him, all of these hostile developments result in loss for many and for some it could lead to depression and hopelessness which could trigger a real mental health problem.

“The needs for mental health and psychosocial support are expected to increase dramatically in the months and years to come.

“Investing in mental health programs at state, national and international levels, which have already suffered years of underfunding, is now more important than ever before.

“Unfortunately, mental health is one of the most neglected areas of public health.

“Around the world, a billion people live with a mental disorder. Three million people die each year from the harmful use of alcohol, while one person dies by suicide every 40 seconds, ”he said.

Igwe noted that societal stigma, discrimination and human rights abuses of people with mental health problems had further exacerbated mental health disorders in the country.

The donation said that most troubling was that relatively few people in Nigeria have access to quality and affordable mental health services.

“It is estimated that over 75% of people with mental, neurological and substance use disorders do not receive treatment for their condition.

“Unfortunately, most countries, including Nigeria, spend on average only 2% of their health budgets on mental health, so the World Health Organization, in collaboration with partner agencies, is calling for a massive increase in the quality of mental health services. .

“Now is the time for the world to come together and begin to address the historic neglect of mental health.

“Unless we make a serious commitment to scale up mental health services now, the health, social and economic consequences will be far-reaching,” he said.

Igwe added that concerted action must be taken to address decades of inattention and underdevelopment of mental health services and systems, human rights violations and discrimination against people. with mental disorders.

The Nigerian News Agency reports that staff at Enugu Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital held a march to commemorate the Day in Enugu metropolis on Saturday, October 9.

recalled that World Mental Health Day is celebrated on October 10 each year with the support of the United Nations and was first observed in 1992 at the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health.

Source: NAN

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